Since reducing poverty is one of the major development challenges facing India, the country has introduced a wide range of economic reforms, including a direct anti-poverty program, the Public Distribution System (PDS). This quantity-rationing food subsidy program has contributed to the upward pressures on food prices and ensured access of food to urban consumers. Yet, the findings of this report suggests that the welfare gains of PDS in terms of income transfer were very meager and the impact on poverty and nutritional status minimal. This paper estimates the gains and costs of PDS, assesses the Indian government's recent moves towards a better targeted PDS, and considers various options for reform.
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Subtítulo: A NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE